||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 406 (Oct)
||Patrick O'Brien (instructed by Davies Blank Furniss) for D.
||Tina Landale (instructed by Crown Prosecution Service, Manchester) for the prosecution.
||26 October 2001
Criminal law - Trial of children and young persons - Persons under 17 - 12 year old boy charged with indecent assault - Deputy District Judge declining jurisdiction to hear case in youth court - Whether offence sufficiently grave to justify long custodial sentence - Whether decision of Deputy District Judge reasonable - Magistrate's Court Act 1980, s 24 - Powers of Criminal Court (Sentencing) Act 2000, s 91.
The effect of s24 of the Magistrates' Court Act 1980 was that a judge should not decline jurisdiction to hear a matter, unless there was more than a vague or theoretical possibility that a sentence of detention for a long period could be imposed. The primary purpose of s91 of the was to provide for sentences of detention exceeding two years. In other cases, detention and training orders were preferable. It was only in exceptional and restricted circumstances that a sentence of less than two years would be passed. The fact that an offender did not qualify for a detention and training order was not an exceptional circumstance sufficient to justify a period of detention for less than two years.
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